HL Deb 16 October 1820 vol 3 cc673-722

The order of the day being read for the farther consideration and second reading of the Bill, intituled "An Act to deprive Her Majesty Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of the Title, Prerogatives, Rights, Privileges, and Exemptions of Queen Consort of this Realm, and to dissolve the Marriage between His Majesty and the said Caroline Amelia Elizabeth;" and for hearing Counsel for and against the same; Counsel were accordingly called in.

Then the counsel on both sides were asked, whether they had any objection to the examination of sir John Beresford being now interposed in the middle of the examination of Filippo Pomi; and the counsel stating that they had no objection:

Sir John Poer Beresford

, bart, was called in, and having been sworn, was examined as follows, by the Lords:

Earl Grey

.—Are you an admiral in his majesty's service? A rear admiral.

Did you, during the late war, command his majesty's ship Poictiers? I did.

Do you remember a person of the name of William Carrington serving on board that ship? I do.

In what character did he so serve? As quarter-master.

Was he never otherwise rated than as quarter-master of that ship? Not while I commanded her.

Did he leave the Poictiers during the time you commanded her? He left the Poictiers at the time there was an acting captain on board. Perhaps if I were to tell your lord-ships the circumstances, it would prevent a good deal of delay: at the request of sir William Gell I procured the man's discharge from the Poictiers, by writing to captain Jones, my acting captain, to beg he would rate him as my clerk, in order to get him his discharge, and he was discharged by captain Jones rating him as a midshipman; as I fancy there was no vacancy for a clerk, he was rated a midshipman in order to get him his discharge.

You understood him to be rated as a midshipman previous to his discharge? I did not; I never knew he was rated midshipman.

You were understood to state, just now, that captain Jones had rated him as midshipman previous to his discharge? I understood he was rated midshipman after he was discharged, in order to get his pay.

In point of fact he was rated midshipman before he was discharged? Yes, the ship's books will best tell that.

Was it at sir William Gell's request, and not in consequence of any request on his part? At sir William Gell's repeated request to me.

Did you give him, at the time of his leaving, a ship-certificate of good conduct? I gave him a certificate of good conduct either before he left the ship or after, I do not know which, but I gave him a certificate.

You gave him a certificate expressing your approbation of his conduct? Yes, he was a very good man while I commanded the ship, and I gave him a certificate, as I do all good seamen.

Did you consider that there was any thing irregular in his conduct while on board the ship, or any thing irregular in his manner of procuring his discharge? The first question I should wish to answer first; while he was on board the ship, there never was a man that behaved better: as to the irregularity of his discharge, if there was anything irregular in it, which I believe there was, it was my fault, and not the acting captain's; I had it done in order to oblige sir William Gell.

There was no fault of William Carrington? No fault of William Carrington whatever; be was a very excellent man.

Lord Melville

.—Are their lordships to understand from you, that William Carrington, in point of fact, never was a midshipman of the Poictiers while you commanded that ship? Never.

He never did the duty as a midshipman? Never.

Do you recollect any conversation with Carrington, as to his being rated as a midshipman, or brought forward in the service as an officer? Never.

Do you recollect his complaining to you, that he did not like the sea, and that he wished to get his discharge on that account? I will state the proceeding before he said he did not like the sea.

Did he ever state to you, that he wished to be discharged from his majesty's service, because he did not like the sea? Yes; sir William Gell asked me to do him the favour of sanctioning this man's discharge; I called Carrington, and said, "Carrington, what do you wish to leave the service? I hope to God you will not leave the service; he said he was very anxious to leave the service, he was pressed into it, and did not like the sea." I think those were his words, as nearly as I can be upon my oath; I was surprised when this discharge was asked for.

Do you recollect any correspondence with the Admiralty on the subject of his discharge? I never had a correspondence with the Admiralty on the subject, and I did not know there was any correspondence with the Admiralty on the subject; if I had I would not have given him his discharge. I could not fly in the face of the Admiralty; because I think it was an improper thing captain Jones discharging him at my request; if there is any blame for discharging him, I hope it will be attached to me.

Earl of Lauderdale

.—Was there any engagement that Carrington should be rated as a midshipman, or any understanding on that subject, at the time he came on board your ship? No, he was drafted, I believe, on board the Poictiers from another ship; I had never seen him till then.

Was there any engagement during the time of his service as a quarter-master, that he should be made a midshipman when he was serving in your ship? Not by me, there was no engagement.

Lord Chancellor

.—Did William Carrington leave the service in the year 1811? Yes, he did.

Had he, or had he not, been a midshipman for twelve months before he left the service? No; he had never been a midshipman before he left the service, to my knowledge.

Did he ever decline the appointment of midshipman? I never offered it to him.

Do you know whether he did or did not receive midshipman's pay for a twelvemonth? The ship's books can best tell that; but I should say no; the ship's books are always regularly kept, and can be referred to.

Earl of Lauderdale

.—Do you remember desiring Carrington to go down to the Thisbe, and ask for his papers? I do not remember that, it is ten years ago since this occurred; but I got him put on the Thisbe's books, in order to get his pay for him; therefore I think it is probable it was so, but I cannot charge my memory with it exactly; the Thisbe was the flag ship in the river.

At what time did you get him put upon the books of the Thisbe? He was discharged from the Poictiers into the Thisbe in order for him to get his pay; I think it was about June or July 1811; I was on shore at the time.

You are certain that you never gave Carrington any reason to expect promotion as a midshipman during the time he served as a quarter-master? Not while I was in the ship.

Did Carrington ever state to you any difficulty, in point of expence, of dressing himself, and maintaining himself as a midshipman? No; if he had I should have maintained him, as I did others in the service, till he could pay me again.

Earl of Liverpool

.—Did you so act towards Carrington, or Carrington towards you, that Carrington could have been led to think he was a midshipman?

Before the Answer was given, a second question was proposed.

Lord Chancellor

.—Did Carrington, while he was on board the Poictiers, ever act as a midshipman? He never did. I should wish, injustice to Carrington, to answer the question, whether he was ever led to believe that he was hereafter to be a midshipman; he never was led to expect that from me. I am about to give my opinion, perhaps it is not evidence; I understand the noble lord's question to be, Have you any reason to believe that he was led to expect that from any body else? my answer was going to be, that the first lieutenant had so good an opinion of that man, I do not know what he might have held out to the man while I was absent; but I never held it out myself. I refer to lieutenant Alcock, now captain Alcock; I do not know that lieutenant Alcock did.

Earl of Lauderdale

.—Did you ever tell Carrington that he was to be on the quarterdeck; and do you recollect Carrington replying, that he did not wish to be on the quarterdeck, for he had no friends or money to support him on the quarter-deck? He never told me any such thing; and after I knew he was to be sir William Gell's servant, it was very unlikely I should propose to him to be an officer in the service.

This never passed before you knew he was to be sir William Gell's servant? Never.

Carrington having informed this House that he did not go upon the quarter-deck for some time after he joined the Poictiers, was he ever on the quarter-deck of the Poictiers? He never was on the quarter-deck, except when his duty as quarter-master led him there.

Earl Grey

.—Did William Carrington apply to you at any time after he had left the Poictiers, respecting his pay? He did.

Do you recollect what passed between you and him upon that subject? I think it was four or five years afterwards; I met him in the street, or he waited upon me; he said, I have not got my pay, captain; I said, I will get it for you; and I was the means of its being procured.

Did you give him a letter to a gentleman at Somerset-house for that purpose? I cither gave him a letter, or went to Somerset-house myself, I do not recollect which, but I know I got him his pay.

Do you remember, at any time previous to his discharge from the Poictiers, having any conversation with him respecting his wish to leave the service? Yes, I remember rather reproaching him for quitting the service, and saying, "I was quite astonished he had quitted the service, particularly as he was so comfortably situated on board the ship;" I was displeased with his quitting the service, I did it to oblige sir William Gell; I did not like so good a man quitting the service, and the reason he gave me was, that he was pressed into the service, that he never liked the sea, and was anxious to quit it.

The question related to any time previous to his quitting the Poictiers? The answers he gave previously and afterwards were exactly the same.

There was nothing passed relative to his inability to support the expense of being on the quarter-deck? Nothing.

Lord Colville

.—Do you know that Carrington, whilst doing duty under your command on board the Poictiers, knew what his rating on the ship's books actually was at the time?

Mr. Brougham

humbly submitted that, for this witness to be called on to depose to what he knew of what the other witness knew, was not evidence, unless he was asked as to some fact which brought Carrington's knowledge within the witness's knowledge. As it stood, he thought the question a droll one.

Lord Colville

said, that he had put the question in consequence of Carrinaton's own evidence, that he believed himself to have been rated as a midshipman on board the Poictiers while under the commaud of sir J. Beresford. He had, therefore, good reason to ask, whether Carrington must not have been aware of his own rating; he thought he must have been. No man had a greater respect for the high legal talent of the counsel at the bar than himself, but he did hope that their lordships would not be of the same opinion with that learned gentleman. The learned counsel was not justified in saying that the question was a droll one.

The Lord Chancellor

said, that it was not for their lordships to discourage any objections which might be urged by the counsel for the Queen upon legal grounds. At the same time he thought that the proper question to introduce the one which had been propounded would be—whether the witness knew whether Carrington did or did not know how he was rated.

Lord Chancellor

.—Do you know, from any fact or circumstance, within your own knowledge, that Carrington did know how he was rated? Every man and officer in the ship knew how they were rated, to the best of my knowledge and belief; I never hid the rating from any of them; but with six hundred people in the ship it is most impossible I can recollect the rating of every man ten years ago; but I believe he knew it.

Are you certain that Carrington did not know he was rated quarter-master? I should think he knew it, as he always did his duty as quarter master; but he and I never had any conversation upon that subject.

Lord Combermere

.—Do you know whether Carrington ever messed with the midshipmen? He never did.

Earl of Winchelsea

.—Was the pay which you state you obtained for Carrington some time after he was discharged, either by personal application at Somerset-house, or by letter, the pay of a midshipman, or the pay of a quarter-master? I believe both; the pay of the midshipman's part of it, could only have been a few days, because he was discharged into a ship to get his pay as a midshipman; therefore for those two or three days he must have been paid; but the Navy-office books can best state this.

Lord Chancellor

.—According to the course and practice of the naval service, is not every man rated according to the duty he docs on board the ship? Generally speaking.

Duke of Clarence

.—During the continuance of William Carrington on board the Poictiers, was he on any occasion particularly recommended to your notice by the first lieutenant? Not that I know of; but he was a very great favourite of the first lieutenant's, being a very good man, and the first lieutenant was very 10th to part with him.

Where was the Poictiers employed during the twelve months that he was on board that ship? The first part of her service we commanded at the blockade at Brest, then at Lisbon, then in the North seas.

Did Carrington come on board with a draft of men, or was he received on board on the ship's being first commissioned? As far as my memory charges me, with a draft of men from the Majestic; I think there were six or eight of them.

During the continuance of Carrington on board the Poictiers, was the ship in course of payment? I cannot say positively, but I think she was.

The ship's books will prove the fact? Of course.

Earl Grey

—What was the name of your first lieutenant? Lieutenant Alcock, now a captain.

Where docs he live? Near Carmarthen, in South Wales, and a most able and excellent man he is.

Do you know where captain Jones, who was the acting captain at the time of his discharge, is? I do not, but I know captain Alcock's residence from being in the habit of corresponding with him; I had a letter from him about two months ago.

The Witness was directed to withdraw.

Mr. Brougham

trusted, in reference to the examination of Pomi on Saturday, that their lordships would allow him to state, that notwithstanding their lordships had appeared to be of opinion that the Queen's counsel could not cross-examine him as to the bribe attempted to be given to him by one Riganti, if he would submit to be the agent of Vimercati, one of the Milan Commission, although their lordships at the time seemed to object to the question intended to be propounded, her majesty's counsel did not wave it altogether, but reserved it to a future time, in case they should be afterwards able to show other acts of the same kind; and in case they should be able to arrive at that necessary and indispensable fact, of who the real party, the prosecutor in this case, was; without which information, looking at the peculiar situation in which her majesty stood, it did appear to him that it was absolutely impossible for them to pursue any step towards that pure and substantial justice, which ought to be the object of every judicial proceeding.

The Lord Chancellor

said, the witness (Pomi) had now been examined in chief, and also cross-examined. It was irregular to interpose between the examination and the cross-examination of a witness: whatever application the counsel might have to make hereafter would be then the subject of consideration.

The Counsel were directed to withdraw.

Lord Calthorpe

rose, to express his great regret, that the noble earl at the head of his majesty's government did not take an earlier opportunity of saying distinctly, who was the prosecutor in the present case. It really did appear to him, that in the question now before the House—if they made it one of state, and in which the state was the aggrieved and complaining party—the Crown, as the head of the state, and not the king indi- vidually, was, in a legal and constitutional point of view, the prosecuting party. He could only account for his noble friend's not having stated at an earlier day that important fact from the reliance of the noble earl upon the effect to be produced by their lordships' experience of his own fairness and candour, which he had so conspicuously manifested throughout the whole of this business, and which had drawn from the noble earl's political opponents even the warmest and most liberal acknowledgment. A close attention to the noble earl's conduct had only the more confirmed his opinion of the necessity that existed for its being still more clearly and distinctly stated, who the prosecuting party in this case was. It must be admitted on all hands, that his noble friend had, by his own conduct at least, exemplified a distinction which he (lord Calthorpe), for himself, confessed he thought clear and obvious, between the minister of the Crown as the head of the state, and the minister of the Crown individually. If he was wrong in drawing this distinction, he should be most happy to be set right by those noble lords around him, whose acquaintance with the constitution and political law must be so much greater than his own. To him this distinction was sufficient and satisfactory: and certainly he thought it would have been desirable, in order to have precluded all misunderstanding, to have stated the point much earlier. At the same time he must say, that he thought no parties in this case had so little reason to complain of that statement having been so long delayed as the learned counsel for her majesty: for he thought, that, if any advantage had been left on any side, as to refusing the knowledge of this particular, relative to the identity of what had been called an invisible, an impalpable, and an indefinable being; all that advantage had been with the learned counsel for her majesty, who had certainly had the opportunity of taking advantages of that odium naturally attached to a secret committee, and particularly as that odium must be necessarily increased by the object of the committee having been a foreign one. This subject had been so repeatedly brought up, that he could not feel satisfied without just attempting to explain to the House what seemed to him the correct view of the case.

The Earl of Liverpool

felt himself called upon for some explanation, after the can did way in which this matter had been put to him by the noble lord who spoke last. He must express some surprise, that this subject, if there really was any difficulty about it, should not have been stated at the earliest stage of the proceeding, but should have been deferred to the present occasion. He himself had no difficulty in stating how he conceived the matter to stand; nor could he have any from the beginning. It might be difficult to make an analogy between a proceeding in their lordships house, considered as a legislative proceeding, and proceedings in other courts as far as regarded a question of who was or who was not the prosecutor; but about this question, in the present case, however the nature of the proceeding might have been objected to, there had been from the beginning, no mystery whatever. On the 7th of June, or thereabouts, he had laid on the table of that House, by his majesty's command, as he then stated, certain papers relative to her majesty's conduct when princess of Wales. The question being how these were to be disposed of, it was then also proposed by him that they should, in the first instance be referred to a secret committee. Many noble lords objected to that proceeding, and contended, that the proper course would be for the executive government, or for himself in the situation which he occupied under that executive government, to introduce a bill upon his own responsibility, founded upon the subject matter of those papers. Those papers were referred to a secret committee of that House, and that committee made a report upon them, which was now upon their lordships table. The day after that report was brought in, he proceeded to lay upon the table, also, a bill; not a bill as of the secret committee, but as, undoubtedly, his own bill; as a bill (so far as, legislatively considered he could be) for which he was himself responsible. Such was the real course of the proceeding. Right or wrong, whichever that proceeding might be, was there any mystery about it? The House ordered the Queen to be furnished with a copy of the bill in question, and the attorney-general was ordered by their lordships, at the same time, to appear at the bar of their House, in order to make good the charges contained in the preamble. Whatever might be contended for upon the principle of analogy in a case like this, he maintained that the only and the proper course had been taken. Whether the secret committee had reported rightly or wrongly, had nothing to do with the matter in dispute: if it had never existed at all, even that matter stood, as with respect to the present point at issue, on precisely the same grounds. The bill might have been brought in on other principles; and in the way in which it had been produced, he repeated there was no mystery whatever. He had already said, that, with respect to what might have taken place under the Milan Commission, he had no objection that, at a proper time, the most thorough inquiry should be instituted into that subject. But he did not consider that those who formed it ought to be mixed up with the present question, more than they legally and necessarily were. With regard to the present bill, he said, that it was introduced into that House by himself, in the firm belief that its preamble could be proved. Whether it would be or not would be for their lordships hereafter to consider: it would be for them, at a future time, to determine how far the accusations contained in the preamble were made out. Whatever their lordships judgment might be, he was sure they would be of opinion that there had been no mystery attempted to be kept up.

The Marquis of Lansdown

said, that the question which on Saturday it had been urged, ought not to be asked, and was not to be answered, was now asked, and had been answered. After the explanation of the noble earl opposite (afforded with his usual candour), something like an answer had certainly been obtained. He agreed with the statement of that noble earl; and it had convinced him, that in this proceeding throughout they were entertaining a bill which the House had been led to entertain at the suggestion of the noble earl, and of the king's ministers; and that the counsel at the bar appeared for the purpose of instituting such an examination, as should certify to their lordships whether the bill ought to pass or not. So far the explanation was to be admitted: but if the House was placed in the situation of having for its own convenience, and with a view to the accuracy of its own determinations, thought proper to create a party, and to place that party at the bar, it behoved them to consider in what way that proceeding, so established, affected the interest of the individual who was the client of the counsel at their bar. When the noble earl opposite appeared to express some astonishment at the objection or difficulty which had been started not having been suggested before, he (the marquis of Lansdown) must beg leave to say, that to the best of his recollection and belief it had been repeatedly stated throughout the whole business. It had been stated in that House, and elsewhere, by the counsel at the bar; it had been reverted to in that House by noble lords and by the counsel at the bar; and had, in short, been reiterated in almost every stage of the proceeding. But since the noble earl did express so much astonishment that the objection had been so lately produced, he would tell him that, admitting the fact, there was at any rate some reason for it. The very proceedings of the House itself, on Saturday, raised this question—namely, How, and how far this creating and placing at their bar an unknown party, for the convenience of the House, affected the interests of the other party before them? The question had not been 60 raised before. What, then, was the nature of the proceeding of counsel at their bar on Saturday? To establish the fact of a conspiracy. To establish such a fact it was necessary to prove an agency. To prove an agent, it was necessary to prove, in the first place, a party as a principal. It was impossible for any counsel who knew how the law of the case stood, to bring home a fact of agency, without showing a principal. Concurring with the explanation given by the noble earl who had described the bill as his own measure introduced by himself, and to become afterwards the measure of the House at large, or not, according to the event, he rose chiefly for the purpose of expressing an opinion, which he really felt it an omission of his duty not to have stated on Saturday, after Mr. Powell's examination at the bar was concluded. Agreeing, as he had said, in the sort of opinion expressed by the noble earl, that only confirmed the feeling he before entertained upon the subject which he was about to mention, and induced him, with the greatest confidence to submit such opinion to the House—"that those letters from colonel Browne to Mr. Powell, and from Mr. Powell to colonel Browne—he meant their correspondence relative to the abstraction of a material witness in this case, when the evidence of that witness was required at the bar——were evidence which ought to be pro- duced," considering the state of this proceeding, as instituted by the House for its own convenience, with a view, not to any particular purpose, but to the discovery of truth. That was its sole object; he supposed it to have no other object, no principal or party having any interest in the proceeding; because, in fact, no party existed as prosecutor, except that phantom, which, for the purpose of eliciting truth, their lordships had raised up, and which, in truth, was for their own convenience, but was not for the interests of truth. It was very certain, that, in many ordinary cases, the convenience of parties in proceedings was to be preferred to the interests of truth; and such a course might be perfectly prudent. But here, when they considered the unsubstantial party which they had created and brought to their bar, no such interests were to be considered; the sole and real important interests were those of truth. He had no hesitation in affirming, that it was their lordships duty to take care, lest in advocating the interests of their own party, raised up by their own power and permission, they proceeded nastily or incautiously, while evidence for the actual and more material interests of truth was strangely absent. Their lordships were bound, and should have felt it as he conceived, due to themselves, and to the ends of substantial justice and of truth, to have called for the production of so much of that evidence to which he had adverted as related to the great irregularity (to give it no worse a name) of the abstraction of a material witness, by Mr. Powell. When so much of that evidence as related to the affair of Restelli should be produced, he should take upon himself to call for the judgment of the House upon the matter, and to know how they stood in that respect. One word more before he sat down. His noble friend (lord Calthorpe) had taken a distinction upon a very material point, to which he could by no means subscribe. The noble lord had stated, that he saw a distinction, in the conduct of the noble earl at the head of the Treasury, as between a minister of the Crown and a minister of the king. He could not acquiesce in any such distinction; he knew of no such difference; he thought that the noble earl acted upon this, as upon all other occasions, as the minister of the Crown; and as the minister of the Crown their lordships knew him. Sure he was, that he only did justice to the noble earl when he said, that the noble earl would not submit to be considered as acting in any other capacity.

The Lord Chancellor

would repeat the substance of one observation, in which he had been led to state what he had stated with respect to the abstraction of Restelli, and the difference between a present and a postponed examination. The same principle applied to the cross-examination of a witness who had been already examined in chief. His lordship then proceeded to point out to their lordships the disadvantage of delaying the cross-examination of the witness last at their lordships bar, and wished that any discussion that was not instantly called for might be deferred till that was over. A noble marquis had said that the question which was put on Saturday had been put to-day. He differed from the noble marquis: the question of Saturday he took to be a very different one, and the answer of to-day was by no means applicable to it. Why this point should have been pressed so often, or whether there should have been any delay of an answer, was a question upon which he would make no observation except this—that his professional experience very often furnished him with good reasons for delay. The fact was neither more nor less than this—that his majesty was advised to lay certain papers before that House, and those who gave him that advice were responsible for it; those papers being sent down, were referred to a secret committee; the committee made a report, and after that report the noble earl thought proper to bring in a bill founded upon it. Now this, he maintained, was no prosecution; for neither was there any prosecutor, nor any petition presented against such measure. The noble earl was answerable to the country for bringing in that bill, as all those were who concurred in advising that course; and upon this statement he contended that he was justified in saying, here was no prosecution. What he wished their lordships to do was, to proceed forthwith with the cross-examination that had been deferred, and then any question arising upon it might be impartially discussed; and, in despite of all the world, he might say, he was sure that it would be impartially determined.

Lord Calthorpe,

in explanation, remarked, that what he meant to say was this:—that the noble earl, in relying upon the acquiescence of the House in his delay of stating who the prosecutor in this case really was, had rested rather upon the weight of his individual and personal character, than upon any influence with parliament which government were usually supposed to exercise in such cases.

Earl Grey

said, he only wished to state his dissent from one part of the statement made by the noble earl (Liverpool) to whom he gave full credit for candour and openness. But he had asserted, that those of their lordships who had opposed the appointment of a secret committee had contended, that a bill should be brought in upon the responsibility of ministers. What those noble lords, however, did contend for, was, not that a bill, but that a charge should be brought in upon the responsibility of ministers; and that ministers should not shelter themselves under the report of a secret committee. To the mode of proceeding by bill he had always had an invincible objection. With respect to the question immediately before their lordships, he thought that the noble earl opposite had made no answer whatever to the clear and convincing statement of his noble friend (the marquis of Lansdown), as to the difficulty, if not inability, of the learned counsel to prove the conspiracy, arising out of the circumstance of their not being enabled to cross-examine the agent of the party to the fact. Where agency was to be proved, that agency it was rendered nearly impossible to trace, if it could not be also proved who was the principal in it. From what had passed, he must assume, that government were the principals; and, that being assumed, it was to be inferred that every person employed by government in this business was their agent. Hence, it followed, that colonel Browne was an agent. He did not know whether they might consider Hanoverian ministers as agents; but colonel Browne was clearly one. Well then—a question had been put with respect to the conduct of one Riganti, who had been sent by colonel Browne for the purpose of procuring witnesses to go to Milan. When grounds were made to appear at their lordships bar for the assertions that had been advanced by counsel with respect to bribery, he apprehended that he must consider the government as being the principal, colonel Browne as their agent, and Riganti as employed by colonel Browne. There was, at least, that degree of bribery proved that they (their lordships) must know how far persons so empowered as Riganti appeared to have been, had been enabled to corrupt and tamper with witnesses, to the manifest perversion and destruction of all justice. It was now for their lordships to determine, how far they would allow counsel to proceed with those questions to which objections had been started on Saturday. If those questions were not to be allowed to be put by counsel, he now gave notice that he should, after the examination and cross-examination were concluded, submit to their lordships the propriety and necessity of their being propounded, in order that the House might know every thing which had been done by Riganti; and also because it was material to know every thing which had been done in this case by other persons acting under the commission. So convinced was he of the necessity of such questions being permitted, that he should certainly take the sense of the House upon the matter.

The Earl of Carnarvon

considered that the subject now before the House was connected with a sort of collateral inquiry, which he agreed with his noble friend in thinking it was highly important to go into. In the circumstance related as occurring at Carlsruhe, there was but one witness Barbara Kress: she was sent for, it appeared, to Frankfort, to be examined by the Hanoverian minister, and was afterwards sent to Hanover. It was clear therefore that other persons had been employed in that witness's examination besides the Milan Commission. Who were they? or were ministers responsible for them as well as the Milan agents? How was the conduct of agents to be thoroughly sifted, unless it was known who those agents were, and by whom authorized? Perhaps it might appear, that there were other parties at work not connected with the tribunal of the Milan Commission. Were those parties under the control of ministers, or were they not? Were they included in that responsibility which ministers were ready to avow? It was idle to proceed in the cause, unless this information were fairly and fully communicated. How else were they to see their way through a series of proceedings in the collection of this evidence, in which both German diplomacy and German dexterity were mixed up in one confused mass? How else could it be known whether or no, compulsion had been used by parties in that almost invisible empire? It was most material to know whether cor- ruption could be traced in any of the proceedings of the parties who acted in these despotic states. It was most material to know whether, before the evidence was submitted to the Milan Commission, it had undergone examination and garbling by the agent of any petty German despot, for whose acts no responsibility could be traced. These were the unexplained peculiarities of this so Germanized business. Let the ministers avow for whom they were responsible as ministers of the king of England. Did they mean also to say they were responsible for the ministers of the king of Hanover? If they did, perhaps it would be also necessary to know who were the responsbile advisers of the duke of Cornwall, or whether they might not have had any hand in procuring some of those horrible means which were as disgraceful as they were malignant. This information bethought absolutely necessary, because who could say whether they might not be called upon, before they came to a vote on the bill, to sit in judgment upon the criminal advisers of this most shameful and miserable proceeding? It had been said, that when the evidence in this case was terminated, it would then become their lordships' duty to decide upon the question, whether or no the preamble of the bill was proved. They would then, it was said, have to decide upon the evidence, which, in his judgment, contained the silliest deposition that had ever found its way into a grave proceeding; they would then have to say, whether the bill should be read a second time or not. He would not say that this would become a part of their duty—though strange enough had been that duty, as exercised by their lordships in this business, which bore no analogy to the ordinary judicial forms of the country—to its principles of justice, which seemed to have been long forgotten—indeed, he might add, to common sense, as well as to the spirit and practice of the constitution. Their situation was, indeed, anomalous, and utterly at variance with all precedent It was said, that when called upon to vote for the second reading of the bill, they might devise some means of modifying the terms of the preamble, and designating the imputed offence in terms of less severity; that then they might call the act, perhaps, censurable, or change the force of its character. He would, however, plainly tell their lordships, that they had no way of making the matter palatable. In any way in which they viewed the going on with the bill, they would have to encounter new and more appalling obstacles. How could they vote the preamble of the bill proved, and then resort to a new measure of a different form? Such conduct would be a gross insult to the unfortunate woman against whom the bill was directed. That, indeed, would show that their lordships were Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike— Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike. He knew, indeed, that this course was-suggested for the purpose of saving their consistency. But how would the voting all the charges proved, and yet abandoning the preamble of the bill, show their consistency? How would admitting the principle, and then recording a vote contrary to all justice and common sense, manifest their consistency? He implored them to avoid such consistency, and declared, that the only proof of rational consistency they had it in their power to show was, to abandon the course into which they had been betrayed. His own opinion he had long since declared, and he had no objection to repeat it;—namely, that, whether the charges were proved or not, this bill never should have his concurrence. Entertaining this opinion throughout, he had objected to, and had condemned their mode of inquiry from the beginning. For what purpose, he had always said, pollute their ears, disgust the public, and disgrace their Journals, with the detail of such gross and scandalous evidence? This, he repeated, was his opinion of the bill, and he had only to reiterate the necessity of stopping before their situation became inextricable. Their responsibility was great—their situation critical—and he again implored of the House to pause before that situation, became irremediable.

The Counsel were again called in.

Then Filippo Pomi

was again called in, and cross-examined by the Attorney General as follows, through the Interpretation of the Marchese di Spineto.

You have stated, that you resided in a house at the Barona, is that house now called the Villa Pergami? Yes, at present it is called the Villa Pergami.

How long has it been so called? A little time ago.

How long ago? After that Monfrini sold it, about three months ago.

Do you mean to swear, that it was not called, the Villa Pergami until three months ago from this time? It was so called, even before then; Monfrini bought it, and after Monfrini sold it, it was called again the Villa Pergami; we always called it La Barona, and we then began to call it Villa Pergami, after that Pergami had bought it.

How long ago is it since you first called it the Villa Pergami? He bought it in the year 1816.

After Pergami purchased it, did you continue to work there as a carpenter for Pergami? I did.

Had you continued to work for Pergami at the Villa down to the time of your leaving Italy? When he was the master I worked for him; when other people have been the masters, I have worked for the other people.

When did you last see Pergami? This I do not quite recollect; it must have been in the month of August, I believe.

Where did you sec him? At his house.

Did you see him any where else? I have seen him in no other place, for I never went out of the house.

Did you see him the day you left the Villa Pergami? I did not.

How long before did you see him? I left the Villa Pergami on the 20th of September; I had seen him in August, but I no not know the day, I cannot mention the day.

Will you swear you did not see him in the month of September? I cannot swear, it must have been the latter end of August, or the beginning of September; I cannot swear, I have not made a memorandum, and I cannot tell.

How long before you left the Villa Pergami, was it, that you saw Pergami upon your oath? I left on the 20lh of September, and I cannot tell whether it was the latter end of August, or the beginning of September, I do not know.

How many days before you left the Villa Pergami did you see him? I do not know how many days.

Was it a week? More than a week.

Was not Pergami living at the Villa Pergami at the time you left it? No, he had set out, he had gone away, and I do not know when he went away.

Who desired you to come over here as a witness? No one; my own will.

Do you mean to swear, that you came voluntarily, without any application having been made to you for that purpose? I came here by my own will, because I heard that the advocate Codazzi was receiving witnesses, and I went to say, that I had to say something in favour of that lady, who had done a great deal of good.

A doubt being suggested, whether this was the full import of the Answer, the following Question was put: Did you say, that she had done a great deal of good, or that she had done you a great deal of good? To me, and to all the people at the Barona; she has done me a great deal of good, and a great deal of good to all the people in general.

Do you mean to swear, that you went to Codazzi of your own accord, and that no application was made before that time to go to Codazzi? Yes, I swear that before any tribunal.

Did any body apply to you to go to Codazzi before you went there? No; I heard that Codazzi received depositions in favour of this lady, and I went to Codazzi willingly.

When was it you went to Codazzi? It was on the 24th day of August.

Was Pergami then at the Villa Pergami? He was not.

Do you know whether Pergami was at Milan at the time you went to Codazzi? As far as I know, he was not there.

Did any person desire you to come here from Italy to be a witness? There has been this Codazzi, who told me so and so, who told me this and this; if you have any deposition to make, you may go, because your deposition is good.

Were you examined by Codazzi? Yes.

Was any body else present when you were examined? No.

Codazzi having said to you that you might go, did you in consequence of that come here of your own accord? Yes, because I told him, that if it had been a business which required me to go a hundred miles, I would go willingly, because I would go (volontariamente.)

The interpreters being asked whether the whole of the answer of the witness had been given, they concurred in stating that the whole had been given.

After you were examined by Codazzi, and before you set out from Italy, did you see any other person on the subject of your coming over here as a witness? Yes, I had seen another English advocate at Milan.

When? The day after I saw Codazzi.

Who was with the English advocate when you saw him? I have been in his house, and I have seen only him; I went there by my own accord, as I did in regard to the advocate.

Did you see any other person besides the English advocate upon the subject of your coining here after you had seen Codazzi? Not at that time.

At any time? When he came one day to the Barona I saw him, the advocate Codazzi, and another person.

Who was that other person? I did not know that person.

Was he an Englishman or an Italian? I believe he was a foreigner; I believe he was an Englishman; for I did not speak to him, I merely took him up stairs to show the house.

Do you know Vassali? I do.

Did you see Vassali at any time before you set out from Italy? Yes, I saw him.

When was it you saw him; how long before you set out from Italy? It was in the month of August, but I do not know when; I have not present the day.

Was it before or after you went to Codazzi? It was after.

Did you come over to England by yourself, or in company with other persons? I came over in company with the head master, Giarolini, and three other persons.

Where was it you saw Vassali; was it at the Villa Pergami, or at Milan? I saw him at Milan.

Where? Near to his house; I saw him when he was getting into the carriage.

Did you call at his house? No, I have never been at his house.

Was that the only time you saw Vassali? I had seen him many times; I had seen him in the year 1817, and the year 1818.

Besides that time at Milan, have you seen him on any other occasion, on the subject of your coming here as a witness? I have seen him here; I do not know in what place; in this country, in London.

Did you pay your own expenses in coming here, as you state that you came voluntarily? I did not.

Who paid them? The head master paid all the expenses, for he paid for all.

Is Giarolini your head master, or who is your master? Giarolini.

Is he your master when you live at the Villa Pergami? He is.

What are you to be paid for coming here as a witness? Here it is; when I went to the advocate Codazzi, I told him, that if it was to be an affair of a little time, I had no objection to go; and I told him, that even if I was to go for a hundred miles, I would go without any interest.

What are you to be paid for coming here? As to the pay I cannot tell, because when I told to the advocate I told him that, provided they gave something to my family, I for that lady (her royal highness) would go to the end of the world.

Do you mean to say, that you do not expect to be paid any thing for coming here, for your loss of time? Hear me: if they will take care of my family, I would have no expectation in regard to myself, provided they took care of my family; and I would go to any place.

What were they to give your family? The sum is that they give a livre to my wife, and half a livre for each of my children, daughters.

Do you mean a livre a day? Yes.

Do you swear that that is all you are to receive, or expect to receive for coming here? This is for the assistance of my family; as to the rest, to myself, if they will give me something, I will take it, if they do not give it to me, I have no claim, I do not expect it.

Will you swear you have made no agree- ment with any person for your own remuneration for coming here? Yes, this I can swear to, because I have made no agreement whatever; but as there are some people who have some claims, so I can have also some claims.

Then you are to be understood to say you have some hopes of being remunerated for coming here? I have told you I have no hope, for, for that lady (her royal highness), on account of the benefits that she has done me, I would go to the end of the world.

You slated, when you were here last, that when Restelli came to the Villa Pergami, he came together with the son of the head master; what is the name of that person, the son of the head master, who came with Restelli to the Villa Pergami? Antonio.

Antonio Giarolini? Yes.

Is not Antonio Giarolini an architect, as his father is? He is more clever than his fattier.

Did not young Giarolini, upon that occasion, take a plan of the house? Yes, they made a little drawing or design.

Did not young Giarolini, upon that occasion, make the drawing or plan? Yes, when Giarolini came to the Barona, with Demont and Restelli and other persons, there was Giarolini up-stairs, and they made this drawing or plan.

Did young Giarolini go away with them, after they had made the plan? No; the others went away in a carriage, and Giarolini and Restelli went out by another door; and when they were there, they began to leap for joy, and to congratulate each other.

You say you have lived at the Barona for so many years; do you remember when her royal highness was there with Pergami, any dances being given at the Villa Pergami? Yes, I remember them.

Do you know a person of the name of Antongina? He was the tenant of the parish, of the whole place.

What is the extent of the Villa Pergami and the land belonging to it? I do not know precisely.

The question is not precisely, but about what extent? It is an estate of a thousand pertica, all this house is about half a perlica.

How many acres? How am I to know, that? I cannot know it.

You have stated you know the person Antongina, has not he a great many daughters? He has eighteen children between males and females.

Did his daughters use to be present at those balls? They came one evening, when her royal highness had expressed a wish to see all that family coming from one father and one mother.

What other persons used to be present at those balls, do you know? They were all people well brought up from their father, well brought up from their mother, well brought up; and when they were there, the father always was present for the good order.

The question does not refer to Antongina; but were there not many persons from the neighbourhood, of a low situation in life? There were other girls, but they were all well brought up people.

The question is, in what situation of life were they, not whether they were well or ill brought up? All gentlefolks.

Both male and female? Yes; this Antongina, we should call him a gentleman, and the others that came were all gentlefolks.

Do you know a person called Maria Gallelti? Perhaps she may have come there.

Who is Maria Galletti? I do not know her positively.

Does not she keep the public-house called the St. Christopher. You must have mistaken the name; it is not Maria Galletti.

What is the name of the landlady of the St. Christopher? Rosina.

How long has she lived there? She has been landlady a long time.

Has she not been at those balls? Yes, she came, but because she had been brought by those other girls; but she is a respectable woman, she is not a prostitute (trappola).

Is she one of those persons whom you describe as the gentlefolks who used to frequent those balls? Yes, she came, and came only once, this Rosina.

Is she one of the persons that you describe as gentlefolks, who came to the ball? She was the mother of another girl who was used to go there; she was the mistress of this inn, called the St. Christopher.

Is there another inn at the Barona, besides the St. Christopher? There is.

Who keeps that? Pergami is the master.

Who keeps the house, who conducts it? The innkeeper is there.

What is his name? Giovanni Angelo Donnarini; it is now the son, but before it was the father, and was called Antonio.

Did his wife and her sister use to go to those balls? They came only once.

What is the wife's sister? She has no sisters; Donnarini has married a woman who has no sisters, who was an only daughter.

Do you know a person of the name of Battista, who lives at the Barona, a blacksmith? No, there is no Battista.

What is the blacksmith's name at the Barona? Antonio Manni.

Were he and his family at those balls at any time? No; first of all he has no daughters, and he has only three sons.

Was he at the balls, or either of his sons? No, I never saw any of them.

You have stated that you are a carpenter; do you remember at any time having occasion to do any work to a door up stairs at the Barona? Yes, to work; I have made all the doors, I have even worked at the house of the tenant.

Do you remember, upon one occasion, your going up stairs to mend a door at the Barona? How am I to remember that? I went up stairs a hundred limes, now to mend one thing, then to mend another.

Do you remember when you were mending a door up stairs seeing her royal highness any where? No, in that time I have not seen her; I have seen her down stairs in the hall; up stairs, I have seen her in other places, but when I was mending the door I never saw her.

Did you ever see the princess in any room, up stairs? I have seen her in her own room.

Was it at the time you were mending a door that you saw the princess in her own room? No, it was when I carried up stairs a chest of drawers, which had been put out of order.

Where was it you saw the princess upon that occasion? In her own room, when I was carrying that thing up stairs.

Was Pergami with her? No, I have not seen him.

Did you not see Pergami any where upon that occasion? No.

Will you swear you did not see Pergami upon that occasion, in the princess's bedroom? Yes, I can sweat before God for this.

Did you at any other time see Pergami in the princess's bed-room? I never saw him there, never.

Have you never stated that you saw him and the princess in her bed-room? How can I tell such a thing, when I never saw him.

You are not asked whether you ever saw it, but whether you ever stated that you had seen the princess and Pergami in a bed-room together? I have told you that I know nothing at all of this affair.

Will you swear you have never said, that you saw the princess and Pergami together in her bed-room? Yes, I can swear even before God, that I never saw them in her own room.

You are not asked whether you ever saw them, but whether you have ever said that you saw them? I have said nothing of this business before; it was not me who went up stairs, for I have always had four or five men under me to work.

Have you not said, that you did go up stairs on one occasion with a chest of drawers? I have said that I went once up stairs in her room to mend this chest of drawers, because the drawers wanted mending.

Upon that occasion was it that you saw the princess in her bed-room? Yes.

Have yon never said that upon that, or some other occasion, you saw the princess and Pergami together in her bed-room? How many times must I say the same thing; I have said, that I can swear that I never saw Pergami in the room of the princess, in the bed-room of the princess.

You are not asked whether you saw the princess and Pergami, but whether you ever said you had seen the princess and Pergami together in the bed-room? I never said, nor have I seen it.

Do you know the wife of the baron Pergami? I do.

Have you ever seen her at the Villa Pergami? Yes, before I set out she was there.

Before you set out for England? Yes.

Did you see the little Victorine at the Villa Pergami when you saw the wife there? No, the little Victorine was not at home; she was at school.

Where was she at school, do you know? I do not know the place.

You said, that many gentlefolks went to the ball at the Villa Pergami; state the names of any of the gentlefolks whom you have seen there? I cannot mention them.

Can you mention any of the ladies? I might mention Marianna Donnarini, I might mention Giuseppa Donnarini; and there may be other persons who, if they were before my eyes, I might recollect their names.

Who is Marianna Donnarini, and where does she live? At the Barona.

Who is she; is she a lady living upon her fortune? A girl well brought up, and the flower of gentlefolks.

Is she not the daughter of the man who keeps one of the inns at the Barona? Yes, she is the daughter of Antonio.

Examined by the Lords.

Earl Grey

.—Was any proposition made to you to give evidence against the Queen, and by whom? No.

Did no person speak to you upon the subject of giving evidence against the Queen? There is Restelli, as I mentioned the other day.

Any other person? There was another person of the name of Riganti, who, when I went to his shop to buy snuff or something of the kind, told me——

Mr. Attorney General

objected to the answer which the interpreter was translating.

Earl Grey

conceived the interruption to be irregular. A question had been put, and an answer given; but, while the interpreter was translating it, he was interrupted by the learned gentleman. He thought it was the duty of the House and of the learned gentleman to hear the answer, and if it were then deemed illegal, it could be struck out.

Mr. Attorney General

said, he would, for his own justification, call the recollection of their lordships to page 97 of the Minutes,* where the same thing was done by his learned friend, Mr. Denman, with respect to one of the witnesses for the bill. His learned friend had interrupted the witness in his answer when he came to the words "I imagine," observing that * See Vol. 2, p. 892. the witness's imagination could not be received in evidence. The objection was held to be a good one, and the rest of the answer was not taken down. The lord chancellor stated, on that occasion, that the witness might be allowed to give so much of his answer as could be legally-heard; but that, when he was about to state his "imagination" of any thing, it was proper to interrupt him. His objection was of the same description. That which the witness had stated, as to Riganti's having applied to him to give evidence, might be received as evidence; but he contended, that any conversation between him and Riganti on that occasion could not be given in evidence. He knew that it could be afterwards struck out; but he opposed it at the moment, conceiving that ultimately it could not be received as evidence. He did not object from any fear of the answer that might be given to the question, but because conversation with another person could not be evidence.

The Lord Chancellor

directed the preceding question and answer to be read, which was done.

Mr. Attorney General

.—My objection is, that any evidence between the witness and another person, not a party here, cannot be received.

The Lord Chancellor

.—Mr. Solicitor-general, do you wish to be heard?

Mr. Solicitor General

said, he could not think it necessary to trouble their lordships with any remarks upon this question. From what the evidence disclosed, it appeared, that all the concern which Riganti had in this business was, to carry a message from Vimercati to Restelli. Farther than that, Riganti was quite a stranger to the subject of the present investigation; upon what principle, then, could any thing said by him to the witness be admitted as evidence? According to every rule of evidence which he had ever read or heard of, such testimony was totally inadmissible, and therefore he concurred in the objection urged by his learned friend. Upon the validity of that objection, it would be for their lordships to decide. In urging the objection, he and his learned colleague felt that they had done their duty, and having so done, they were quite indifferent about the result.

Mr. Attorney General

referred to the objection urged upon this subject on Saturday, when it was maintained upon his side that there was no evidence whatever of the agency of Riganti in this business; that there was nothing, indeed, in proof to connect that person with the present investigation, and that consequently his acts or declarations were not admissible evidence on the bill before their lordships.

The Lord Chancellor

inquired whether the counsel for her majesty had any observations to offer upon this subject?

Mr. Brougham

declared, that he should be perfectly satisfied to leave it altogether to their lordships to decide upon the question, and upon the propriety of the attorney-general's interruption of the witness. Riganti was, he maintained, so connected with this business, as to render what the witness said admissible evidence. His connection, indeed, and agency upon this business, must be concluded from the evidence in page 410.* But he had other evidence to adduce in proof of that agency, upon which evidence he should remark hereafter. Without further evidence, however, he contended, that the evidence already before their lordships, afforded sufficient ground for putting the question objected to on the other side. That there was evidence of Restelli's agency, was now, he believed, admitted; and by whom was Restelli introduced into the business? Why, by Riganti, according to Restelli's own evidence; for Restelli deposed, that Riganti came to him and told him to go to the advocate Vimercati, who was notoriously an avowed agent of the Milan Commission. That in consequence, Restelli went to Vimercati; and further, that in consequence of his communication with Vimercati, he was examined before the Milan Commission. All these consequences, with the examination also of Restelli at the bar of that House, followed from what Restelli said Riganti told him to do. Restelli, it appeared, indeed, immediately commenced his course of proceeding against the Queen upon the communication of Riganti, for he went to Vimercati, to whom he told what he knew, as he said, the very day after that communication, and in a day or two after, he told the same story to the Milan Commission, which consisted, as he stated, of the advocate Vimercati, three English gentlemen, and two Italian amanuenses. Was it not then evident, that Riganti was the agent of the Milan Commission, who first * See Vol. 2, p. 1253. set Restelli in motion? And, therefore, he argued, that there was sufficient testimony before the House to let in the question proposed by one of its own body. But he begged particularly to call their lordships' attention to the necessity of receiving this description of testimony; for, suppose he could prove, that agent after agent had applied to different persons to swear against the Queen—that bribes were offered, and promises held out, in proportion to the turpitude of the offences of which persons were called upon to accuse her majesty—that one person was offered a larger sum than others, if he would swear that he saw Bergami put his hand under her petticoats? Supposing that he should be able to prove all these things, and that divers witnesses had been tampered with by the base panders of the Milan Commission—that while the most corrupt means had been employed to collect evidence against the Queen, the most nefarious expedients had been resorted to, in order to dissuade, to intimidate, to bribe witnesses not to come forward in her defence—was it possible that their, lordships, in dealing with this extraordinary Bill of Pains and Penalties, would feel themselves justified in preventing the production of such evidence? If, indeed, such evidence were rejected, would not their lordships, as a house of legislature, or as a judicial body, feel themselves in a most awkward situation, especially in coming to the decision of that great and important question, whether the bill before the House should be adopted or not? Could any man say, that his mind would not be materially influenced by such evidence, nay, that such evidence would not be sufficient to determine his judgment against the bill? If he should be able to prove, that such artifices as he had alluded to, had been employed to get up the testimony against the Queen, and if those artifices, or the agents employing them, could be traced to the Milan Commission, he submitted, that although he might be unable immediately to connect with that system the ministers of this country, whom he and his colleagues considered as their antagonists upon the bill before the House, that such evidence ought to be received. If he should be able to prove, that all the foul filth and false accusations which had been brought forward on this occasion against the Queen were originated, and matured through the Milan Commission, which was said to be now at an end, al- though colonel Browne was still acting at Milan, he maintained that such information as he had described ought to be laid before their lordships, and consequently that the depositions of the witness at the bar, with respect to Riganti, were not only admissible but material. Could any man say, that if such details were proved, they would not affect his judgment upon the subject of this bill? If he could show that fellows went about offering other people's money, and not their own—for they really had none of their own to offer, while, if they had, it would be obvious that such wretches as the proof referred to could have no interest in criminating the Queen—if it were shown that many such offers were made in pari materia, how could any one doubt that a conspiracy existed upon this occasion? That he could not immediately bring home this conspiracy to lord Liverpool, or lord Harrowby, or the other authors of the present bill, who thought proper to sit as judges among their lordships, upon accusations preferred by themselves, he was ready to admit; but her majesty's counsel charged the prosecutors of the Queen with a conspiracy of the foulest kind; and for the sake of justice, as well as for the sake of its own character, we called upon this House to afford them every necessary facility for the full exposure of its character and conduct.

Dr. Lushington

requested leave to say a few words in support of the question that had been put. It would not have been asked if it had not been for what occurred on Saturday; and looking at the manner in which the question was then disposed of, and what had just happened, he was in doubt whether he had not entirely mistaken the rules of evidence on this occasion He did not mean to contend, that this man, Riganti, was a general agent of the Milan Commission, but that he was employed as an agent for particular purposes—that he was employed to procure witnesses for the support of those charges—and he conceived their lordships ought to hear any evidence that could be produced on this occasion, with respect to any illegal means that might have been resorted to for bringing forward witnesses in support of the bill. Now, the question that had been put, as it appeared to him, came strictly within the rule that had been laid down, because it went to procure, for their lordships' information, an account of the manner in which Riganti had conducted himself when obeying the orders of the Milan Commission; and if it turned out, that, in obeying those orders, he had attempted by sums of money—by bribery and corruption—to procure witnesses, then, on every principle of justice, those acts should be detailed by evidence before their lordships. What would be said if such evidence were not allowed to be given? It would be said, that the interests of justice were entirely defeated. The Milan Commission employed Riganti to go and collect witnesses; and he did so by bribery and corruption, by every bad and objectionable means. The consequence was, that witnesses were brought to their lordships' bar to perjure, themselves. Would their lordships decide on such evidence? Was it not proved by a particular witness that he was offered a bribe? Did not their lordships see, that, in those countries where the witnesses lived, bribes were to be had, and fortunes were to be made, provided individuals went before the Milan Commission, and gave evidence against her majesty? Not to hear witnesses examined on these points struck at the fountain of justice, and overturned the rules of evidence. When those persons went before the Commission they gave their depositions, and they were sworn to those depositions before that Commission; though on what authority they were so sworn, he protested he did not know. He knew not by what power it was, that a commission could be sent forth from this country to act under a foreign government, and having at the same time authority to administer oaths to witnesses, for the purpose of afterwards bringing them to England. When they came here with their depositions—when they were brought to the bar of that House—could it be doubted whether or not their lordships should take these circumstances into their serious consideration? Could it be said, that the government who brought forward this bill were not responsible for every act of the Milan Commission, and for every act done by every subordinate of that Commission? Could it be seriously said, that they would not receive the evidence on the points he had adverted to? And why? Because it was not deemed admissible evidence. But how stood the fact? The Milan Commission gave Riganti power to act in their behalf: it was in evidence that he was employed to procure witnesses; and they adopted his acts by examining the witnesses he brought. Therefore, he hoped their lordships would be of opinion, that it was absolutely essential to the attainment of justice, that this evidence should be received, in order that the circumstances might be probed to the utmost; and then, he trusted her majesty's counsel would be able to show their lordships, that, throughout the whole of the scene where those criminal acts were stated to have taken place, there had been agents, almost without number, travelling through those countries, seeking out persons whom they supposed, by possibility, might have some knowledge of transactions relating to the Queen, and offering to them bribes, and seducing individuals, whose situations rendered them most likely to be induced to perjure themselves before the commission, and afterwards to come forward to support that perjury, at their lordships' bar.

Mr. Attorney General

said, he was sure their lordships would pardon him for offering a short reply to the representations of his learned friends who had just argued this question; and he must confess, that he was somewhat astonished at the bold assertions made by those learned gentlemen—assertions which the evidence entirely negatived. He almost doubted whether his learned friend who last addressed their lordships had made himself acquainted with the evidence; because, if he had, he must have known that the administration of oaths by the Milan Commission, so far from being proved by evidence, was absolutely negatived. Restelli stated to their lordships, that no oath was administered to him; and as far as he recollected, every witness who was asked the question, denied the fact. He believed that no oath was administered by the Commission to the witnesses at the time they made their depositions.

Dr. Lushinglon

here interrupted the learned gentleman. He would at once refer him to page 227 of the Minutes, where it was stated by Raggazoni that he was sworn before the Commission. The evidence on this point was as follows:—

"When you were examined at Milan, was what you said taken down in writing? It was taken in writing.

"Did you sign it? I did.

"Were you sworn? Yes, I took an oath at Milan.

"Who swore you? The advocate Vimercati.

"In what form? He told me, 'Are you ready to swear upon the truth?' and I said 'Yes, the truth.'

"Were you sworn upon the Gospels, or in what manner? He told me 'You are then ready to come and swear to the truth?' I said 'Yes, I am ready to come and swear to the truth.'

"Were you sworn upon the cross at that time? Yes, I took the oath upon the cross; I took the cross which I carry about me, and I kissed it myself before Vimercati." *

Mr. Attorney General

maintained, that, taking the whole of the deposition of Raggazoni, it could not be said that he was sworn by the Milan Commission, as it only appeared from the evidence referred to, that the witness took the oath himself. [Here there was a laugh, accompanied by some exclamations of "Oh! oh!"].

The Lord Chancellor

said, he believed that if a counsel had been so treated in any of the courts of Westminster-hall, he would have instantly left the court.

Mr. Attorney General

resumed.—He wanted to bring the fact before their lordships, and to call on them to look minutely to the evidence as it stood on the Minutes. Restelli denied expressly that, he had been sworn. If they examined the evidence of Ragazzoni by itself, and, still more, if they examined it in connexion with the evidence of other witnesses, the matter would at once be explained. The question put was, "Are you ready, if required, to swear to the truth of this deposition?" he answered "Yes;" and he then took out the cross, and kissed it himself. But this was no proof that any oath was administered by Vimercati. On the contrary, their lordships would find that the question relative to the administration of an oath was repeatedly put in the course of the evidence, and as repeatedly negatived. He would again state to their lordships, with perfect confidence, that if they examined the evidence fairly and candidly, they would see, that though the witnesses were asked, were they ready to swear to their depositions? yet no oath was put to them. They were all asked, if they were ready to swear; and they all answered that they were, if called on to depose upon oath. In saying this, he stood in their lordships judgment; and, of course, his assertion would go for nothing, if it were not borne out by evi- * See Vol. 2, p. 1096. dence; but, on examining the evidence, it would be found that no oath was administered to the witnesses by the commission; but, as he had before said, they merely stated what they knew or had seen connected with the subject under investigation, and they were asked whether, if required, they were willing to be examined on oath. This was all that took place, and no oath was administered. Why did he state this? Because if assertions were confidently made on the other side (assertions which had no more to do with the question than the most remote subject that could be discussed), they must be met by a reference to facts. What was the question they were now called on to decide? It was merely this—whether or not it could be inferred, from the evidence given by. Restelli, that there was that sort of agency, on the part of Riganti, which his learned friends themselves admitted must be proved, before a particular line of examination could be pursued. He denied that any evidence had been given that could lead to such a conclusion. It was asserted, on the other side that Restelli had offered money. It was not necessary to go into that point now: it might hereafter be adduced in contradiction to what that individual had sworn; but he could not allow the witness, who had stated that Restelli offered him money, to go further, and detail a conversation he had with another person. It was now stated, that Riganti was the agent of the Milan commission, and therefore, that evidence respecting him ought to be received. But, where was the proof of this agency? All that was said by Restelli was, that a man of the name of Rcganti, a tobacconist, came to tell him that the advocate Vimercati wanted to see him; and his evidence then went on thus:—

"Was any body with the advocate when you first went?—There was not.

"Did the advocate then take your deposition?—He did not.

"Did he ask you any questions about what you know?—He did.

"How soon after that did you go before the commissioners?—I believe a day or two after.

"How many persons did you find assembled, there?—There was the advocate, three English gentlemen, and two Italian amanuenses.

"Did you then tell the same story you have told to-day?—I did.

"Was it taken down in writing?—It was.

"Were you sworn to the truth of it?—They did not swear me, but they told me that I should be obliged to swear to the truth before a tribunal; I said I would.

"Did you then take out your own cross and kiss it?—I did not. I was not then to take an oath; he only told me that I should be obliged to swear, if the occasion should require, before a tribunal; and I said that I would."*

All that they were told, therefore, was, that Riganti came to this witness from Vimercati; and from that his learned friends concluded at once that Riganti was the authorized agent of those persons who formed the Milan Commission; that he did not not go to Restelli only, but that he was an authorized agent, appointed specially to collect evidence. If, on so slender a ground, they let in evidence of this nature, their lordships could not tell where they were going, or where they were to stop, on such an occasion. They would, in fact, be trying collateral issues, instead of being guided by proper evidence—that which alone they ought to look to—namely, the truth or falsehood of the preamble of this bill. They were asked to proceed in a different coarse; to admit evidence, which would be received in no court whatsoever, even in a civil case. It was clear, ex concessis, on the other side, that this evidence could not be admitted, unless proof were given of the actual agency of Riganti. No such evidence had been given, or was now offered. When that agency was established, it would be time enough to see whether, even then, such evidence as that contended for could be received. At present, it was sufficient to inquire, whether there was any evidence of such agency. Could it be admitted, that, because a servant carried a message, his principal became accountable for all his acts? Undoubtedly not. Here nothing appeared, but that this Riganti told Restelli to go to the advocate—and that he went in consequence. But, admitting this, was such a circumstance to let in all his acts and all his statements, as evidence? He interposed this objection. It would be for their lordships to decide, whether they would be guided by the rule the had laid down themselves whether they would * See Vol. 2, p. 1253. be guided by the rules that obtained in courts of law. He conceived that the decision their lordships had arrived at on Saturday, and which appeared so clear that it occasioned little argument, supported the answer given by him and his learned friend to the other side. It was so clear, that, after refusing the question which was then put, he thought it was impossible for their lordships to admit the question which was contended for on the present occasion. There was no more reason, in his opinion, for letting in the confessions and declarations of Riganti, than there was for admitting those of any other individual who had chanced to be named in the course of these proceedings.

The Lord Chancellor

thought it was his duty to state, that, according to any understanding he had of the principles and law of evidence, these declarations could not, in the present stage of this proceeding, be admitted; and, if any noble lord could entertain an opinion, that, according to the course and practice of the Courts below, the view which he (the lord Chancellor) took of the subject could be so far contradicted as to have it shown that the practice of those Courts would let in such evidence, it would be competent to that noble lord to have the advice of the learned judges on the question, and he would feel obliged to the noble lord who called for that opinion, in order that he might thereby correct his own. So far from his mind being satisfied with what passed on Saturday last, he did assure the noble earl (Grey), that, recollecting what had occurred on that occasion, he had since paid much attention to the subject. There was a great deal of good sense in a few words of bad Latin,—"Qui pauca considerat facile errat;"—and he had not failed since that time, to put to himself several questions on the subject—to reconsider it, in fact, as it has undergone so little discussion. In the first place, he would call back their lordships' recollection with respect to what passed as to the witness Restelli. He stood on their Minutes as having given particular evidence—and witnesses were called to their bar (and, he thought most properly and justly called to their bar, in the absence of Restelli, considering that absence not to have been occasioned by the party opposed to the bill), in order to state declarations that had been made relative to that person, with a view to his contradiction; and the witness was asked a question, whether Riganti had ever made any declaration to him? This, taking it in any point of view their lordships pleased, could not be admitted, under the present circumstances of the case. And here he hoped he should not he told, in any future stage of this question, that there were any noble lords sitting in that House who could have any anxiety with respect to personal convenience. He protested against it as the most unjust thing that could be imagined—as a thing that could not be tolerated. He would put what he was now about to state in a purely hypothetical manner. He would suppose, hypothetically, that the government might be called, if they pleased to give them the name (as odious a name as could be given to them)—the prosecutors on this occasion; that the Milan commission were, as they had been called the other day, a branch of a joint-stock company: assuming this to be true, he would suppose that the government, or the Milan commission, or both, having been distinctly proved to be the prosecutors in this business, had employed certain agents, whose acts were to be made evidence in this proceeding; it could not be done unless proof were given of that agency; and, in this case, no proof was given that Riganti was an agent to any body. Now, before the act of an agent could be given in evidence, he was justified in saying, that the agency must be established. There were various ways to establish the fact of agency. It might be established by the admission of the principal; it might be established by the agent himself making proof of the fact; and it might be established by the evidence of other persons, with respect to the acts of the person represented to be the agent. The law allowed the agent to prove it himself, which was a better mode than by having recourse to the evidence of third persons. The agent might, therefore, be called to prove what came within his own knowledge. This was not attempted here. Was there any admission of the principals in this case? Certainly not. Suppose the acts of Riganti did not prove him an agent, had he been called himself to show his agency? He had not. Was there, then, any proof given by other persons? He knew it might be said—and, in all probability, it would be said—that it was placing individuals under great difficulties if they were asked to call persons to prove an agency, who might also prove other circumstances which the party by whom they were called did not wish to give in evidence. Supposing it to be so, were the rules of law, therefore, to be broken down, in order to remedy the inconvenience? The third species of proof was from acts done by the person alleged to have acted in the character of agent. Now, if their lordships would look to the evidence, page 410, 411, 412, they would see that there were no acts given in evidence which proved agency:—"Who sought you? The first time, a man of the name of Riganti came to tell me to go to the advocate." * Was it, then, to be contended, that because Restelli, in consequence of a message he received by Riganti, went to the Milan commission to be examined—was it therefore to be contended, that Riganti was agent to the Milan commission? Because one man was sent to call another, was agency to be inferred? He could only say, that in the course of his experience, such a proposition he had never heard. The counsel for her majesty were bound to call Riganti, then, if they meant to proceed upon his acts. His lordship did not know how he should act, if called upon to give his opinion judicially upon the obligation to tell where Riganti was to be found; but, if he were asked where he was, and knew where he was, he would have told it at once. If their lordships should, without calling Riganti, suffer counsel to give evidence of what Riganti had said, where would they stop? If they called Riganti and proved agency, then they might proceed to hear evidence of his sayings and acts. But, otherwise, the consequences might be monstrous. There might be conspiracy on one side as well as on the other. He did not mean to throw out any insinuation. Whatever the result of this inquiry might be, he would never forgive himself if he threw out any thing to fix an imputation during the inquiry. But there might be conspiracy against conspiracy. If, then, nineteen or twenty persons should come before them, and swear that they had been offered money, how could their lordships say on which side those who offered money were employed? They must prove a great deal to prove an agency by the acts done. This was not proved in the present instance; therefore * See Vol. 2, p. 1253. the agent must be called, whatever might be the consequence of calling him, if his acts were to be given in evidence. This was his view of the present objection. It would be a great relief to him if any noble lord would draw up a question to be submitted to the Judges respecting this point. He felt always great reliance on the experience and wisdom of the Judges, and the sanction of their authority was a great relief to him in every case of legal difficulty.

Earl Grey

said, that the noble and learned lord had correctly stated, that when he proposed that this question should be put to the witness, he did it in consideration of the decision of their lordships on this point on Saturday last, not believing that that decision was right in the peculiar circumstances of this case. He had been desirous that the attorney-general should state such objections as might occur to him, that their lordships might deliberately consider the subject, with the manner in which the attorney-general had supported the objection. The objection was ably made by the attorney-general, and ably supported by the noble and learned lord. He might perhaps expose himself to the imputation of pertinacity, when he still persisted in entertaining the opinion that the question ought to be put. The statement of the noble and learned lord as to the practice in the courts below was, no doubt, quite correct; and if the point were submitted to the learned judges, their decision would be such as the noble and learned lord had stated, and therefore he had no wish to refer the point to them. He would admit that, according to strict and technical rules of law in other courts, the question could not be asked. But the question was here, whether their lordships were bound by those strict and technical rules, or whether the peculiar circumstances in which they were placed, did not require some relaxation of those rules, and authorise them to de what, in other circumstances, would be irregular? He had admitted before, that it was desirable, that the House should restrain itself as much as it was possible by the rules of law; but the House was not to be restrained from a departure from those rules when circumstances justified such a departure. The question was, then, whether they were here so situated as to be authorised to depart from strict rules of law? What was their situation? It was admitted on all hands, that the general agency of Riganti was not so proved as to authorise questions to be put respecting his acts and sayings. But he begged their lordships to recollect that this was a bill of pains and penalties—a bill of pains and penalties proposed by his majesty's government—a bill of pains and penalties supported by evidence collected by a commission which had been appointed by the government. It was a severe and anomalous measure, to deprive the Queen of her rights—to degrade her from her dignities—to remove her from the rank and station which belonged to her. Whatever, in the course of such a proceeding, appeared at all suspicious or tainted, ought to be rejected. He agreed with a noble lord, that in such a proceeding they were bound to see that the evidence should be not only unsuspicious, but unsuspected. It was proved by Restelli that Riganti had been employed to bring witnesses to Milan. Restelli said Riganti came to him to desire him to go to Milan, to give his deposition, and he in consequence went. Where got Riganti this instruction to seek for witnesses and to get them to give evidence? When their lordships found this fact established, and when they found that he went to a witness and stated,—"If you will give particular testimony, you will get a great reward;" who could deny but this must affect the bill before them, and influence their decision? He admitted, that a general agency was not proved in such a manner as would authorise the calling of evidence to the acts of the agent in the courts below; but such acts were proved on his part, under the Milan commission, to collect witnesses and to suborn testimony, as made it the duty of their lordships to go into the inquiry, in order to see that they were not imposed on by corrupt and suborned evidences. These were the general views on which he thought it justifiable to depart, in such a case as the present, from the strict rules of law in the courts below; for, thank God, no similar cases were to be found in those courts. He felt great reluctance to press what had been opposed by the noble and learned lord; but, by whomsoever the witnesses had been acted on, and by whatever means evidence was corrupted, those agents, and those means, he felt it his duty to require to be fairly exposed to weir lordships. Therefore he pressed his opinion, if any noble lord supported that PPJWB; for he knew not whether any other lord entertained the same views on this point. He had no interest one way or other. He only wished the case to be laid fairly and completely before them, that no decision might rest on suspected, contaminated, and corrupt evidence, and that no unexamined and unascertained imputation might rest upon the proceedings.

The Earl of Liverpool

said, he understood the noble lord to admit, that if the question arose respecting a conspiracy in the courts below, he did not dispute the law of his noble and learned friend, but to contend, that upon the specialty of the case, upon the extraordinary circumstances of this bill, their lordships ought to be induced to depart from the course which they had hitherto adhered to, and which was always adhered to in the courts below.—Now, this appeared to him a most awkward period to adopt a proposition of this nature, when hitherto they had governed all their proceedings by the understood general laws of evidence. He admitted, that there was no absolute obligation to adhere to those laws; it might be often necessary to open a wider door for evidence than those laws allowed. As their legislative functions were unlimitable, it was impossible to say in what situation they might find themselves to which the ordinary rules of law could not apply. The necessity of departing from those rules was to be deprecated, and therefore their lordships had imposed on themselves the shackles of law. He put it therefore to the House, whether, in this part of the case, they would suffer questions to be put which might lead to an inquiry that would be interminable, or at least most extensive. It was not this particular question only that they would be called on to allow. If their lordships departed here from their usual course, they must depart from it on every important inquiry that could be suggested. The noble earl had said, that they were not to be bound by the nice and technical rules of law. But this was not a nice and technical objection, as many objections, he admitted, were, but was founded on the eternal principles of justice itself. It was this—that where the principal was to be affected by the acts of the agent, there ought to be the clearest evidence of agency. Speaking generally—for he now did not allude to this particular case, but speaking generally—nothing was easier than for one side to employ as agents for the other, persons who should commit various acts of bribery and corruption, and then to bring forward those acts as done by the agents of the adverse party. Let their lordships only see what monstrous injustice would thus be clone. He could not conceive any principle more intelligible to common sense, and that ought to be more intelligible to every professional mind, than that the clearest and most intelligible evidence ought to be given that individuals are agents, before their acts can be received as evidence against their principals. He would desire their lordships to look at the evidence for proof of any agency on the part of Riganti. They would find no more than this—Vimercati desired Riganti to tell Restelli to come to him. He did not say even to be examined. This was a message only, as it stood upon the evidence. To proceed on this as evidence of agency was to violate not only every principle of established law, but every principle on which substantial justice and substantial law were administered. He agreed with the noble earl, that every part of the evidence in the case which was doubtful or suspicious, ought to be left out of view. This bill could not be passed but on clear and indisputable testimony only. Evidence which could be fairly objected to, he did not say by counsel at the bar, but by any peer, as tainted with suspicion, ought not to influence the final decision of their lordships. They were to strike out every thing suspicious. He could not, therefore, see how the refusal to go into this inquiry could prejudice the illustrious person whom it was supposed to favour. As to the Milan commission, he had already said, that he had not the least objection to go into the fullest investigation respecting it; but he objected to that investigation being introduced by a side-wind, in a most inconvenient stage of the proceeding, when their lordships found themselves so fettered and embarrassed that they could not do it justice. Let it be introduced on its own grounds, when there would be this advantage—that their inquiry would not be shackled by rules of evidence. "Whether he considered this question in its bearing upon the case before them, or on the principles of general justice, in the present state of the case, whatever might appear right and necessary in different circumstances, he could not bring his mind to consider it consistent with justice to put the question proposed.

Lord Erskine

said, that the question for their lordships to consider was, whether the putting of the question proposed was not necessary to their information when they came to make up their minds on the fate of the bill? The noble lord had stated, that the House having bound itself to be regulated by the rules of the courts below, it was now too late to depart from the course they had so laid down for themselves. To that he was willing to assent, if the question on which the debate arose did not stand upon different grounds from the other parts of the evidence. That it did so his noble friend had already succeeded in showing. Before he proceeded any further, he was anxious to correct a misstatement which had gone abroad, with respect to some expressions stated to have been used by him on a former occasion. He had never said that the Milan commission, unexamined as the question was up to this moment, was concerned in the subornation of persons to swear against her majesty. He had never said any such thing; on the contrary, he could bear testimony to the character of Mr. Cooke, with the whole of whose professional life he was acquainted, and he had no reason to believe that the other gentlemen connected with him were not also persons of excellent character; but this he would say, that if they were angels, instead of honest men, the evidence might be contaminated before it came to them. It was for their lordships to consider, whether, after so much of the evidence had been shaken, they would now prevent a question from being put, the answer to which might be of such great importance—whether they were prepared to say that the proofs of conspiracy ought not to be inquired into. For his own part, he thought they should, and he would caution the House against coming too hastily to the opposite conclusion. He would beg to recall to the recollection of the House the candid and honourable declaration of the noble earl opposite, that their decision should be founded upon pure and unimpeachable testimony alone, and that whatever was doubtful should be dismissed from their minds. His own opinion was not more entitled to consideration than the opinion of any of their lordships, except so far as the habits of his professional life might be supposed to afford him an advantage. On looking to the evidence, as far as it respected Riganti, he would ask, whether, even though it might not go the length of proving his direct agency, it did not favour the probability that, some how or other, he was connected with this proceeding? That probability was itself a reason why the question should be put. His lordship then referred to the evidence of Restelli, the inference from which he contended was, that Riganti took an interest in the proceeding. Whether a corrupt interest or not would appear by-and-by, if they permitted the examination to be gone into. Their lordships were bound to inquire what inducement there was for his activity, and to see whether, in point of fact, there was any conspiracy or not. If they thought there was not, they would act accordingly; but how could they determine if they did not permit the examination to take place? He would not say that the Milan commission had been guilty of any disgraceful acts, but he would say, that when the whole power of government was on one side and a helpless individual on the other, the utmost care should be taken to investigate every questionable act that might have a tendency to injustice. He who had been so long experienced in the profession, could not but feel the vast importance, in all cases, of knowing who the witnesses were, and whence they came. That was an advantage from which, in the present case, they were unhappily precluded. Neither were they sitting in a court of justice, as they ought to sit, for he would maintain, and when the proper period arrived he would prove, that as a charge of high crimes and misdemeanors, it ought to have been conducted by impeachment. For his own part, he would never vote for that bill under any circumstances, if the examination was refused; if he did, his life would not be likely to close as it had begun. Were the Queen's character rendered as black by the evidence as in the opinion of some it might be considered purified, still he would not vote for the bill, if he was denied the opportunity of ascertaining whether any corruption had been practised against her. If their lordships rejected the question, they would, in effect, decline making any inquiry as to the corruption that might have been practised abroad; and, in a case which had already surprised them so often with unexpected matters, it was impossible for them to say what discoveries might yet be made under that course of examination for which he contended.

Lord Redesdale

said, that the experience of ages had proved that the rules of evidence, as established in our courts of law, furnished the best means of ascertaining the truth. If, therefore, their lordships in this instance admitted evidence in contradiction to those rules, he contended that they would not proceed in the course which was best calculated to ascertain the truth. In all questions of agency, it was of the utmost importance to ascertain how far the party was to be considered as an agent, and to what extent his acts bound the principal. Suppose he were to say to any person, "John Thomas, I want to speak to you," or "John Thomas, desire such a person to come to me," would any man pretend to say, that by this act he constituted John Thomas, or the other person, an agent? Supposing therefore that Vimercati gave such a direction to Riganti, was that any proof of agency on the part of Riganti? It merely appeared that Riganti was employed to desire Restelli to go to Vimercati, as any other person might have been employed. To prove agency, it was not sufficient merely to show that the party was somehow or other connected with the principal, but it must be proved that he was fully authorised by the person, who might suffer from his acts. The strict rules of evidence had been followed on the part of the prosecution; and if the counsel for the defence were allowed to deviate from them, where, he would ask, would be the consistency or equity of their lordships' proceedings? Equality was justice, and would this be equality? This was a decisive ground, upon which he should strenuously oppose any deviation from the strict rules of evidence.

Earl Grey

regretted that so much of their lordships' time bad been consumed in the discussion of this question, and though he certainly remained unconvinced by any of the arguments which he had heard in the course of that discussion, he rose for the purpose of stating, that in order to avoid any further consumption of their lordships' time, he had no wish to take the sense of the House upon the question. He should wish it to be merely put and negatived.

The Lord Chancellor

said, there were one or two observations which he was extremely anxious to make, inconsequence of what had fallen from his noble and learned friend. His noble and learned friend had referred to what he (the lord chancellor) had said on a former occasion, with respect to reserving his opinion as to the character of any of the witnesses till the conclusion of this proceeding. He was aware that strong impressions would now and then lead individuals to make use of unguarded expressions, and certainly his noble and learned friend had, in the debate to which he alluded, given a character to the witness which ought not to have; been given. When he stated on the present occasion, however, that the evidence was to be looked to with extreme jealousy, he (the lord chancellor) entirely concurred with him. Whether that evidence were true or false must depend, not upon the contradictory testimony of an individual, but upon the result of proof, whether that contradiction was established. With respect to the bill itself, he would at present abstain from any observations, except to say, that looking back to all the bills of pains and penalties recorded in the annals of parliament, he had reason to congratulate their lordships that they had in the course of this proceeding governed themselves as nearly as possible by the rules of evidence which were adopted in the courts below. The evidence on the part of the bill had been gone through, attending to the strict rules of evidence; in what situation, then, would their lordships stand, if they were to deviate from those rules on the other side, and let in that species of evidence, for which he was sorry to say precedents were not wanting in former bills of pains and penalties?

The Question was then put and negatived.

The Counsel were again called in, and informed, that the Answer could not be proceeded in.

The Examination was then resumed.

Lord King

.—Did Restelli say to you, that Demont either had received or was to receive a large reward for giving evidence against the Queen.

The following Extract was read from the former Evidence of the Witness:

"I asked him whether Demont was still in the service of her royal highness, he told me that she was; he did not mention to me her name on the day he was taking the drawing, but he mentioned it on the second day, and told me that she had made a good day's work; we were there at the inn, and we drank together."

Mr. Cohen

.—He added these words: "And that, she, Demont, had gained a great sum."

The Question was withdrawn.

Do you expect you shall be paid more or less, in proportion as your evidence may be more or less favourable to the Queen? I have no hope; but I only say that if they give me, I will take it; but I have no hope."

The Witness was directed to withdraw.

The Marquis of Lansdozon

asked the counsel, whether the witness they proposed now to call was with reference to Restelli.

Mr. Brougham

stated, in reference to what passed on Saturday, that he was not at present prepared to state what course he should pursue with regard to the general Case; but that he was for the present proceeding with Evidence to prove how the Case against her majesty had been prepared.

The Marquis of Lansdozon

added, that his reason for putting this question was, that he intended to submit a motion to the House on the subject of the correspondence of Mr. Powell with colonel Browne, and for this purpose he begged that her majesty's counsel would inform him when they bad concluded their present course of examination.

Mr. Brougham

replied, that they would not omit to do so.

The Earl of Carnarvon

wished to know from the noble earl opposite, whether any person had been employed by government in Hanover to take depositions; he alluded especially to the testimony of Barbara Kress.

The Earl of Liverpool

said, that he must answer the question quite off hand, but as far as his recollection went, the only agent employed by the British government in Hanover had been, the British minister.

Then Bonfiglio Omati

was called in, and having been sworn, was examined by Mr. Wilde as follows, through the Interpretation of the Marchese di Spimeto.

Were you clerk to the advocate Codazzi at Milan? Yes.

Was Codazzi concerned as a professional agent for her royal highness the princess of Wales? He was.

Do you know the advocate Vimercati? I do.

Had you at any time any communication with Vimercati respecting the princess of Wales's papers in Codazzi's custody? I had.

Did you in that communication explain to Vimercati your reason for coming to him? Because there was a person who had conducted me as far as his door.

Did you state that to Vimercati? I did not.

Did you state to Vimercati any thing which had passed between you and that person who had so brought you to Vimercati's door? The moment be saw me he knew me, and he told me to bring him the papers belonging to her royal highness.

Did he offer you any inducement to bring those papers?

Mr. Solicitor General

objected to this course of inquiry. He apprehended no conversation between Vimercati and the witness at the bar could be evidence as to the charges contained in the preamble of this bill. He should be glad to hear what arguments could be urged on the other side.

The Witness was directed to withdraw.

Mr. Brougham

said, it was convenient, not to say usual, before being called upon to defend a particular line of examination, to hear, not only the objections, but the grounds of the objections which were made to it.

The Lord Chancellor

said, the counsel certainly had a right to hear the objection before they could be called upon to answer it.

Mr. Solicitor General

said, the ground of his objection was so palpable, that he had thought it unnecessary to state it. He wished to know upon what principle of law any declarations of Vimercati could be made evidence in this proceeding. Supposing Vimercati to have been engaged as an attorney or advocate, his declarations could not be used for the purpose of establishing any fact. Unless he heard some arguments on the other side, all he could do was, to state, that he did not know how, according to the usual course any conversation between Vimercati and the witness could be evidence. If he were asked to go more into detail, he confessed that he was unable to do so; because he understood it to be one of the first principles of law, that a conversation which had taken place between a witness and a party who stood in the situation of an advocate or attorney, could not be made use of as evidence for the purpose of affecting the principal.

Mr. Wilde,

in support of his question, observed, that he apprehended that it would not be made a question whether Vimercati was or was not an agent. On the evidence he stood a known and accredited agent of the Milan commission.

The Lord Chancellor

said, it would perhaps save time, to refer to those parts of the evidence which went to support that allegation.

Mr. Wilde

said, he was prepared to do so if it were held necessary, but he had concluded that the fact would not be disputed. The testimony of Gargiulo, in p. 131 of the printed Minutes, was clear as to the instrumentality of Vimercati. The witness was asked—"Did you see colonel Browne before you came from Italy to this country? Yes.—Were you examined then, just before your departure by colonel Browne? No: colonel Browne examined me last year, in December, as I have said before.—And a certain lawyer Vimercati, was present, was he not? Yes; Vimercati put the questions in the presence of colonel Browne.—Were your answers put down in writing? I believe so.—Were you sworn to the truth of them? I subscribed my name at the end of the paper; but I did not swear to it.—That was in the presence of colonel Browne and Vimercati? Yes."

From the evidence of Birollo it also appeared that he was examined before the advocate Vimercati. Ragazzoni and Mejani swore to the same effect. Omitting several intermediate proofs of the activity of this advocate, he called the attention of the House to the evidence of Guggiari. He was asked, "Were you examined at Milan? I have been by Vimercati.—Who took you to Milan? A man by the name of Massareni, of Lugano, took me to Milan.—When did you first mention this which you saw in the pantry? I have said it before the advocate Vimercati.—Was that the first time? That was the first time in which I have spoken of what I have seen.—Are you quite sure you never mentioned any thing of it to any body, until you saw Vimercati? He asked me whether I had seen something, and I told him I was always there; and he told me, will you have any difficulty to come and speak to a gentleman; and then this advocate Vimercati said, will you have any objection to come with me to Milan; and I told him yes, I have no objection, I will come with you to Milan.—In short, many other and perhaps stronger instances of the same kind of proof were to be found; for nearly all the witnesses had been examined by Vimercati at Milan, having been drawn thither by subordinate agents. If, therefore, his conduct was not to be made the subject of inquiry, it was very difficult to say whose might be examined. Vimercati and colonel Browne were the most active persons connected with the Milan commission. Upon the latter of these an eulogy had already been pronounced, and it was complained by his friends that a great deal had been stated, and very little proved. Yet, now the proof was offered, it was resisted; and no doubt for very good reasons, though none of them legal. What the counsel for the Queen intended to do was, to prove a corrupt application on the part of Vimercati, sanctioned, as the evidence would probably show, by higher authority, to obtain possession of the papers of her majesty. Principals there were none had been often asserted, and now the House was to be told that there were no agents. If so, who was to be responsible? In any court a defendant would be permitted to show what had been the malpractices of the professional agents in getting up the case against him. The same indulgence, or rather the same right was here claimed for the Queen, who was prepared to show conduct on the part of the gentlemen to whom the witness had referred, such as before any learned judge now sitting on the woolsack would scout a prosecution from our courts: no judge would allow the ears of a jury to be insulted by the evidence of men who had been guilty of such base practices. He wished to show that Vimercati had corruptly endeavoured to obtain possession of the papers of the Queen through the clerk of her advocate in Italy. Undoubtedly, many cases might occur in the progress of this trial, where the Queen's counsel would be unable to supply every connecting link of agency with some degrading transaction: they might not be able to bring home the fact of bribery in all instances; but the situation of her majesty would be melancholy indeed, if, when such a detestable conspiracy had been formed against her, and she was provided with evidence to establish its existence, she were not allowed to bring it home to acknowledged agents, because the testimony might be defective in tracing their authority to some undiscovered principal. She might not be able to show always from what pocket the money came; but she could show that it had been employed, and that under its influence she was now suffering. This wicked conspiracy had been completed by the vilest corruption, and that corruption had been carried into effect years ago, by detestable agents, running from one end of Italy to the other. The Queen had already many disadvantages to contend with—one of them the lapse of time, which prevented detection—but none of them would be so destructive as a supposed rule of law to prevent her from exposing iniquity when she had happily discovered it. It was not necessary, in this instance, to argue upon probabilities, because here the fact was undeniable, that Vimercati was an agent, a most active agent; and if his acts were not to be examined—if the House so decided—the Queen's counsel must submit; for they had no remedy, no appeal.

Mr. Brougham

said, he felt it necessary to say only a few words in addition to the very strong and clear statement of his learned friend. He was not much surprised, that those who had been so loth to allow him to speak of principals, should now be reluctant to permit him to detect the agents; for it was enough for the Queen's counsel to show, that they had got firm hold of an authorized agent, to warrant them in asserting that the principal was bound by his acts. He was not bound to bring home to this agent the authority of ministers, or of any other persons under whom he acted; it was enough to prove, that Vimercati acted under those who formed the Milan commission, established for the purpose of hunting the continent for evidence. In whose company was this advocate found? He was always seen co-operating with colonel Browne, the head of the Milan commission, and indisputably an agent. Mr. Powell, another member of that body had been looked upon so much as a confidential agent, that he was allowed to keep back information under that pretext. Next came Vimercati, upon whom a panegyric might now be expected, as none had been yet pronounced; for it was enough to bring the conduct of an agent in question, for the other side immediately to pronounce an eulogium upon him, as had been shrewdly observed by Mr. Wilde. Perhaps, however, it might be wiser if the attorney and solicitor general postponed a little the expression of their admiration. He wished the solid proof to precede it; and if that were received, it might render needless the empty praise. He was not sure that Vimercati was a member of the Milan commission; but certain he was, that a witness was never examined without his assistance; and. his agency was not to be disputed, unless the other side meant to go the length of contending, that there was no Milan commission. Granting that the acts of Vimercati could not be examined, because he was professionally and confidentially concerned; still, unless his employer were a principal party, it afforded the agent no legal protection; if it were otherwise, cross-examination would be destroyed, because every witness would shelter himself under the character of an agent to some party or other. Powell and Vimercati were precisely on the same footing; they had always hunted in couples, and acted in concert. Whenever a witness, as the old books expressed it, was handled by the one, he was handled by the other. It would be singular indeed if an attempt were made to reject Vimercati altogether, and to show that he was an agent to nobody and for nothing. Yet, if the other side did not go this length, it was clear that the counsel for the Queen would have a right to examine as to his acts. Another objection had been more than hinted at, when it was said, that conversations between Vimercati and the witness could not be given in evidence; but the truth was, that the witness was not required to depose as to the words spoken, but as to the fact done; the deed was every thing, and the words nothing. If they were prevented from pursuing this course, he humbly entreated the House—nay, the party most interested in the success of the bill, whose very all depended upon it—to answer this short question—how was it possible for the Queen to proceed further in her defence?

Mr. Solicitor General,

on the other side observed, that after the experience he had had of his learned friends, he was not at all surprised at the variety of topics they had introduced. He would not go out of his way to follow them, but would discharge his duty by shortly and simply stating the grounds on which he rested his objections to the testimony offered. Still he must say, on behalf of Mr. Powell, that he was a professional agent in support of the bill; that in that character he had carried on a correspondence with colonel Browne; and that he was bound, as a professional man and as a gentleman, not to disclose voluntarily the nature of that correspondence. On this account, he had represented the situation in which he was placed to the House: personally, he had no backwardness in answering any of the questions put to him; but it was his duty to state the objections that operated upon his mind. Whenever questions on evidence arose, the other side pursued a most extraordinary course—nothing would satisfy them but charges of subornation of perjury; and the more serious the accusation, the more vague was the evidence they offered in its support. The rule in our courts of justice was this—that whenever a grave charge was made, the evidence to support it must be strictly legal. Yet now, all legal forms, all rules of evidence, were to be overthrown, to establish the supposed enormous criminality of some individual. According to his apprehension, no act even of the Milan commissioners themselves could be given in evidence in the course of the inquiry, except it related to a particular witness examined at the bar; for a different course would lead to endless collateral inquiries, and irrelevant charges. It was not necessary now to contend to that extent, the question being confined solely to the acts of the advocate Vimercati. It had been laid down, and most properly, that the acts of an agent, when acting within the scope of his authority, might be made use of against his principal; and, applying that rule, what was the situation of Vimercati? According to all the evidence, he was nothing more than a person employed by the Milan commissioners to receive and take down the evidence. Did the other side pretend to say, that what they were about to prove came within the scope of his authority. If so, another question arose—whether they were in a condition to go further, and attack any individuals but those examined at their lordships bar? A great deal had been said about bribes: whether offered by the Milan commissioners, Vimercati or any others, it might be legitimate evidence, if they applied it to the witnesses already examined; but if the counsel for the Queen were not prepared to prove that, they could be allowed to prove nothing. Without, therefore, going into the general question, which was much more important, he rested his objection to the line of examination commenced upon this—that what was imputed to Vimercati was not within the scope of the authority with which he was invested by the Milan commission, and that, if it were not the act of the agent, it could not affect or bind the principal.

The Counsel were directed to withdraw; and the House adjourned.